Creating an adoption plan for your baby after an unplanned pregnancy is no easy task.
As you travel along your journey, you’ll experience all kinds of mixed emotions—some positive, many others negative.
Some mornings you’ll wake up in a state of total despair, wondering how you ever got yourself into this mess.
While other days you’ll be seized with feelings of joy, hope and optimism, knowing that you’ll be giving your child the future you want her to have, even if it isn’t with you.
These emotions are just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to creating an adoption plan, every expectant mother experiences it—and deals with it—in her own way.
That said, here are 10 common emotions you may feel during your pregnancy as your placement date approaches.
After carrying your baby for nine months and bonding with her, the thought of saying goodbye and placing her in another woman’s arms will be nothing short of heartbreaking.
Giving birth is one of life’s most important milestones and an exciting time in anyone’s life, regardless of the circumstances.
As your delivery date draws near, you’ll feel a sense of unbridled joy, knowing that you will be creating a life.
Growing up, we all have an image of what motherhood will look like.
However, due to your circumstances, that image may have been turned upside down, leaving you with feelings of anger, whether it be directed at your baby’s father, your family and/or yourself.
Placing a baby for adoption as a result of an unplanned pregnancy isn’t something that you grow up dreaming about and it’s a hard concept to wrap your head around.
As you make your adoption plan, you will find yourself struggling with feelings of low self-worth, knowing that you let people down.
One of the hardest parts of placing a baby for adoption is dealing with others’ reactions, no matter how confident you are of your decision.
Most people won’t understand or agree with your decision, and their disapproval will weigh heavily on your conscience.
Placing a baby for adoption is such a singular event it’s easy to feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.
Instead of helping you, family and friends may avoid you, creating feelings of resentment.
From finding an adoptive family for your baby to deciding how much openness you want to have, placing a baby for adoption is a huge undertaking.
Although you’ll feel like you’re making the right decision, you’ll also feel a sense of fear, unsure of what the future will hold.
Although there are some parts of the adoption process you can plan, there are many more that are out of your hands.
Staying on top of things will be a challenge, especially as you get closer to your placement date and need to rely on others to turn your plan into action.
This is one of the hardest emotions to deal with as you’re going through your adoption journey.
Thinking about all of the “could-have-beens” and “should-have-beens” can tear you apart if you let them get the better of you.
Placing a baby for adoption triggers all kinds of mixed emotions and the truth is, many of them tend to be negative, especially in the early going of your decision-making.
But one powerful positive one that can trump them all is hope—the feeling that through your decision, you’ll be giving your baby and you a better future. Getting to this stage isn’t easy, but with the right planning and preparation it is possible.
First of all, keep in mind that all of these emotions are perfectly normal. It would be unusual if you didn’t have them. Also know that oftentimes it will be hard to untangle and control them. If you find yourself struggling or at a loss about what to do next, here are a few ways to move forward with confidence and clarity.
Placing a baby is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Make sure that you understand what’s involved in your decision and the consequences.
Reach out to the baby’s father, family or friends
Explore all of your options and before you make any decision, discuss it with someone you know and trust, be it the baby’s father, your family or a friend.
Contact a specialist
Adoption is a complicated process. Find an counselor who can walk you through the steps and give you a glimpse of what to expect.
Join a birthmother support group
Becoming a birthmother is a unique experiences. Get in touch with others who have gone down this road to learn more about what to do and how to cope with the short- and long-term repercussions of your decision.
Keep a journal
Writing about your feelings is a great way to make sense of your situation and find an outlet for your feelings. This can be especially helpful if you find it hard to express yourself to others or feel like you have to keep your emotions bottled up inside you.
Surround yourself with supportive people
From family members to strangers in the supermarket checkout line, everyone will have an opinion on your decision, and in most cases it won’t be positive. Remember that this is your decision and your decision only, and surround yourself with people who are willing to support and honor it.
Get to know the adoptive parents
Connecting with prospective parents will take your journey to a whole new level. Spend the time prior to your placement getting to know them better and make sure that you’re both on the same page.
Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy is hard, but don’t beat yourself up. No matter what you decide, life goes on and you need to live it one day at a time. Don’t let your situation define who you are or stop you from experiencing the joys around you.
Take care of your yourself
Pregnancy is never an easy time, regardless of what you do next. As a pregnant woman, you’ll need to take care of yourself and your baby, focusing on your future and your well-being.
Few things in life are as difficult and confusing as creating an adoption plan for your baby. As you get closer to your placement date, there will times when your life will feel out of control.
Take things one day at a time, knowing that the emotional ups and downs are just part of the process.
And don’t be afraid to change course if that’s what your head and heart tells you.
At the end of the day, you need to be at peace with your decision, whether you decide to place or parent.